May 31, 2011

Summer Quinoa Salad

This is one of my favorite summer salads, and the recipe comes from one of my favorite nutrition experts Dr. Miriam Nelson.  Check out her StrongWomen website for more great recipes.


Quinoa Summer Salad

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup summer squash, chopped
  • 10 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Whisk together the olive oil, 1 T of lemon juice, and garlic.
  • Pour into a medium saucepan and add the quinoa.
  • Stir occasionally until lightly browned (about five minutes).
  • Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer, cover, and cook until quinoa is tender (about fifteen minutes).
  • Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a bowl; toss with parsley, basil, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, peppers, onion, salt, and pepper.
  • Let cool and serve cold or at room temperature.
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May 23, 2011

Raspberry Gelato

Today was not so bad for a Monday.  I was able to try out my new ice cream maker for the first time, and we enjoyed decadent raspberry gelato for dessert this evening. 
The ice cream maker was really easy to use and I'd highly recommend getting least based on my first and only experience :)

Berry Gelato
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients (1 quart)
  • 12 oz fresh raspberries or strawberries (hulled)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk (skim is ok, but whole milk tastes even better)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • Process berries, sugar, and milk in a blender until smooth. Pour into a glass bowl.
  • Add in the cream and stir just enough to combine (do not whip the cream). Then, add the lemon/lime juice and stir.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours and up to overnight. At this time, also freeze your ice cream maker container.
  • Transfer the mixture into an ice cream maker and process for 15 minutes. Serve immediately or freeze up to one month. To freeze, transfer to a freezer-safe container and press plastic wrap on top of the gelato inside the container.
  • If you serve the gelato immediately, it will have the consistency of soft serve ice cream. After several hours in the freezer, it will become as hard as traditional ice cream.
Recipe Source: Apple A Day
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May 15, 2011

Sangria and Salsa

I barely made a dent in my stack of cookbooks from the library because I spent so much time reading Here In America's Test Kitchen, which has a ton of detail about each recipe.  I liked it so much that I made two recipes from the "Party Foods" section last night.  I made One Minute Salsa (p 7) and Sangria (p 15)...can you tell the book had my attention from the very beginning?

I had planned to make Chris' favorite salsa recipe after finding great tomatoes at the Kohl's farmers market on Friday, but then decided to try something different to see how the America's Test Kitchen version would compare, and Chris loved it!  He spiced it up a bit with killer hot sauce he gets from his sister, but he does that with every salsa, nothing is spicy enough for him.

The sangria recipe caught my attention because we have leftover triple sec from Cinco de Mayo.  The book states "the best sangria is based on cheap wine and uses oranges and lemons as the only fruit."  It's also important to refrigerate the sangria for at least 2-8 hours, otherwise it will be "harshy and edgy."  The batch I made was in the fridge for almost 24 hours, and tastes incredibly smooth.  Definitely the best sangria I've ever made at home.

Last time I made sangria I used our glass boot, but I have since picked up a plastic pitcher at Kohl's, which works well for sangria and other drinks served on the patio.  It was 49 degrees when we got home from Madison tonight, but Chris still attempted to enjoy a drink on the patio.


May 10, 2011

Wheat Berry and Chickpea Salad

Remember that summery salad I needed to soak wheat berries for?  Well, I finally made it today, and I loved it!  The recipe comes from Joanne at Eats Well With Others.   I made just a couple modifications based on my preferences, no parsley nor tomatoes please :)

May 08, 2011

Roasted Broccoli, Carrots and Potatoes

The weather today was gorgeous!  Chris setup our gazebo on the patio, and brought up all of outdoor furniture from the basement.  I took care of getting our summer dishes out, and now we're ready to dine outdoors through September :)

I was planning to make a summery salad for dinner this evening, but didn't realize that wheat berries need to soak overnight, so that's on the menu for tomorrow.  Instead I roasted broccoli, carrots and potatoes.

Roasted Broccoli
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Cut broccoli into florets, do not wash the broccoli.
  • In a large ziplock bag, add the broccoli, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, then shake well to coat the broccoli.
  • Line a 9x13 pan with heavy-duty foil and spray with cooking spray, then arrange the broccoli in a single layer on the pan.
  • Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until crisp-tender.
  • Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese when served, if desired.
Adapted from: Amateur Gourmet
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All of the veggies were delicious!  I tried Penzey's Chicago Steak Seasoning on the carrots and potatoes which was really good.  We often make foil packets of veggies when we're camping, so I like the idea of being able to bring just one seasoning blend along with us.

Roasted Red Potatoes & Carrots
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 4 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 3 red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with heavy-duty foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Scrub potatoes and peel carrots, then chop into roasting-size pieces.
  • Place potatoes and carrots in a large ziplock bag and add the remaining ingredients. Shake well.
  • Arrange vegetables in a single layer in the roasting pan.
  • Bake for 35 minutes in pre-heated oven.
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May 01, 2011

Banana Split

With May comes the desire for summer treats.  Granted Chris and I shared this banana split on the couch tonight with me under a blanket, but the warm weather will come eventually. 

For our shared split, I added:
1 banana
5 strawberries
2 pineapple rings (canned)
Hershey's chocolate syrup
4 scoops vanilla ice cream

While we were eating, he told me that his mom used to serve banana splits in banana split boats, and then told me I should buy some.  Just one more thing for my wishlist :)

Roasted Beet Salad

One of the very first recipes I made with CSA vegetables last summer was roasted beet salad and it's an awesome salad.  I made it for the second time tonight; this time with walnuts and feta cheese.  I had a bit of trouble with the beets tonight, and I'm not sure why.  Last time they cooked in about half an hour, and the skins slipped right off.  This time it was closer to an hour, and I had to hack away at them with a paring knife to get the skins off.